Spring is in the air, and a young ham's fancy turns toward ANTENNAS! Or so I am told, since it has been awhile since I have actually seen a young ham around here. But the month of March promises to usher out the snow and ice of winter, and make way for some proper antenna building weather. And do we have some plans to make use of that! Our main tower rebuild project will be resuming very soon, and the new HF antenna has been delivered. No sooner will we finish that job, and we will move on to the VHF tower project, which is still in the early planning stages. Throw in some Field Day antenna building and testing, and we will have a Spring and Summer just chock full of antenna fun. I for one am looking forward to it.
The licensing classes are getting ready to wrap up, and chief instructor Chris Prioli, AD2CS, is already planning the next round of classes! The response has been encouraging, and we have already picked up some new members as a result. Many thanks to Chris and his able team of instructors for making this happen. It was requested that we form an ad-hoc Education Committee to make the classes an ongoing thing, and the Board overwhelmingly supported this motion, and appointed Chris as the committee chair. One thing about GCARC that really stands out, and has for a long time, is the value and effort that we put into education and training. It is something that we have always done well, and it is a primary mission of the Club, which we will be expanding in the near future.
Speaking of Field Day, it is not too soon to be planning for it. Vinnie Sallustio, N4NYY, has agreed to serve again as Field Day Chairman, and he is already seeking sign-ups from all band captains and operators. Improved propagation this year may allow us to add an additional station or two, but that means we will need more people as well, so now is the time to sign up your station and operators. We did very well last year, and had one of the top scoring operations among all clubs in North America, and we are looking to do it again. I will be hosting 20m CW, along with my amigo Darrell Neron, AB2E, who will host 80 and 15 CW. We had a good crew last year and had a great time, as did everyone who made it out to the site. If you missed it, try and make it out this June. You will not regret it.
The W2MMD HF station has been re-configured with separate transceivers for local and remote control. Right now the changeover switching will be done manually, but a future upgrade to fully automatic switching is in the planning stages and will be implemented in the not too distant future. Anyone wishing to operate the station either locally or remotely can schedule blocks of time on the “Clubhouse Calendar” page on the website. Tech Saturdays are reserved for local operation from the Clubhouse. Jon Pearce, WB2NMNF, has created a list of operating policies and procedures that should be followed by all operators. We are hoping to make the station more available to more members and thereby increase its use. Our Club station is one of our most valued assets and one which we want to share with all members.
That's about all I have for now. Be sure to come out to the meeting on March 2, 2022 at the Pfeiffer Community Center in Williamstown. If you have an interesting piece of radio hardware that you treasure, bring it along, as we will be having a show and tell of sorts. This month we welcome new members Jason Cobb, no call, of Bridgeton; Leo Hafele, KD2YPZ, of Glassboro; and Lou Bonaventura, N2JXG, of Sewell. Glad to have you aboard! Hope to see everyone at the meeting.
Until then, 73 de K3TS